19 Apr 2024, 13:40
Carolina Kyllmann

Germany should prioritise national implementation of nature restoration – advisory council

Clean Energy Wire

Germany should urgently tackle the task of restoring nature regardless of the outcome of the discussion on a European level, said Josef Settele, member of country's Advisory Council on the Environment (SRU), in a press conference. The SRU, alongside two more scientific advisory councils, called for better framework conditions for nature restoration in a report, saying that natural areas need to be both protected and improved. They urged the government to introduce ambitious renaturalisation policies to help achieve legally-binding climate targets. Around 80 percent of the EU's natural areas are in poor condition, Settele said.

"Healthy and stable ecosystems are our survival insurance and partner in the fight against the climate crisis," said environment minister Steffi Lemke in response. "How we treat nature today will determine the living conditions of all of us in the future," she said, adding that dysfunctional ecosystems were already affecting prosperity and the economy.

In late March, EU member states failed to consent to the union's Nature Restoration Law, which aims to preserve 30 percent of Europe’s land and sea area for biodiversity. "Without measures for natural climate protection, Germany will foreseeably miss its climate targets for the land use sector," Lemke said, adding the protection of "God's Creation" is so essential that the topic should not be torn apart by parties at the height of the EU election campaign. The German government last year introduced its own natural climate protection action programme (ANK) with the goal of making natural ecosystems more resilient and ensuring that forests and floodplains, soils and moors, oceans and bodies of water can make a stronger contribution to climate protection.

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